Writing is to me like jelly is to peanut butter. It is what I am here for, but I didn’t always know this. Here’s to more Confessions of a Business Owner…
Until a few years ago, I had spent most of my life thinking that writing was my hobby. Since I can remember, I’ve always had a creative project centered around writing or words.
There was poetry in middle school; I even made a book of it one year. Then there was collaborative writing using prompts with my friends in high school; each of us not knowing what the other was writing. And the time I was making a book of word collages, where I took snippets of things from magazines, cut them out, and created a new story with them.
My first award for writing came in high school. We had an assignment in a literature class to write about our “happy place.” I chose to write about my bedroom.
My room was a place where my friends were welcome. We spent a lot of time there together, and we transformed my walk-in closet so it had writable walls. This was before whiteboard paint that you can get today. Instead, we taped rolls of paper on the walls so we could write and doodle to our heart’s content. When we were done, we put up new paper and started again.
I won first place for that essay, talking about my happy place. The reward was to have it published in some paper. Where that paper was, I don’t remember. But, it is the first time I remember being recognized for my storytelling.
The next time I was recognized for my writing was in my early 20’s. I was a district manager of a chain of retail stores. Every Monday I sent a memo to my staff. Sounds boring, right? Not for me! It was my favorite thing to do. I took it very seriously, and I was good at it.
My corporate office got wind of my ability to communicate with my staff through my memos. They asked me to contribute to the company’s newsletter. That newsletter was sent to 300 stores nationwide.
After a decade of climbing corporate ladders and working in jobs that paid me well but didn’t give me the warm, fuzzy feeling of fulfillment, I decided to go back to school and make my writing official.
I went from supporting myself in one of the most expensive counties in Northern California to becoming a starving student. But I was committed to creating a situation in which I was proud to “do” what I do. I was done working a job that didn’t satisfy me.
I enrolled in a journalism program and worked for the college paper. I advanced from a reporter to an editor to the editor-in-chief. In my final year of school, I won two awards for my writing. Those awards hang in my office to this day.
So, why am I telling you this?
Because it took me 30 years of my life to realize that what I always knew I loved and was good at was what I am supposed to do for my career. We can get caught up in the pressure of what we think we are supposed to do, what we are told we should do, or what will “make us money.” That thinking can land you in a job that doesn’t satisfy your heart, or your talent.
Starting Lamplight Creatives was my way of creating a situation in which I could use my talents the way I wanted to use them. It allowed me to collaborate with the talented people around me who had skillsets I did not. I got to be creative, and make money. Winning!
MY ADVICE TO YOU
I encourage anyone who knows deep down in their soul that they are meant to do something, whatever that something is, to stop treating it as your hobby and start making it your career. If there’s a will, there’s a way.
Every step I took along the way got to where I am today, and for that I am grateful. But if I can help just one person realize that you already know where your heart’s passion lies, that is why I make this confession.
Don’t waste your time and talent at jobs that don’t mean something to you at the end of the day. Let your passion take you places you never thought you would go. Your job can absolutely be what you want it to be. And, trust me, nothing is sweeter than waking up everyday and doing exactly what you love to do.